This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, December 13, 2017:
Many took umbrage at the Times Square subway bomber’s family’s statement, describing it as whining, “if you don’t like it here, go home,” etc. Adding to the angst was the fact that the statement was issued by a spokesman for CAIR – the oft-maligned pro-Islamic advocacy group – that sounded awfully much like a thinly-veiled defense of Akayed Ullah:
[We are] heartbroken by the violence that was targeted at our city today [Monday] and by the allegations being made against a member of our family.
We are also outraged by the behavior of the law-enforcement officials who have held [our] children as small as four years old out in the cold and who pulled a teenager out of high school classes to interrogate him without a lawyer, without his parents.(emphasis added)
These are not the sorts of actions we expect from our justice system and we have every confidence that our justice system will find the truth behind this attack and we will in the end be able to learn what occurred [on Monday].
But does this complaint bear examining? What does it portend for future attacks? If the family’s complaint is correct, where is that bright yellow line between protecting the citizenry and violating their rights?
Benjamin Franklin put it well: “Those who can give up essential liberty to gain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” That’s why Ullah’s family’s complaint is unsettling: in our zeal to protect ourselves from terrorists are we allowing the abrogation of precious rights in the process? If so, can those abrogations in the future be turned against us?
Akayed Ullah has been in the United States, thanks to the so-called “green card lottery,” since 2011, and in that time has had but a single brush with the law: a traffic violation.
A former taxi driver and currently an electrical worker, Ullah set off the home-made pipe-bomb at 7:20 am Monday morning, and – thanks to an apparent inability to follow instructions he downloaded from the internet – Ullah managed only to burn himself (his hands, his stomach, and parts even lower) while slightly injuring three other commuters nearby.
Almost immediately Port Authority Police Officer Anthony Manfredini ran towards the muffled blast while calling for backup. He tackled Ullah and, with the help of three other PA officers, subdued Ullah. The bomb which was fastened to his chest by Velcro strips and plastic ties was removed by Manfredini. He was taken away to a local hospital for treatment and within hours the tunnel was fully operational.
On Tuesday afternoon, Ullah was arraigned on numerous charges, including providing material support to a terrorist group and the use of a weapon of mass destruction.
This was another opportunity for the president to promote his immigration agenda: “America must fix its lax immigration system, which allows far too many dangerous, inadequately vetted people to access our country. Today’s terror suspect entered our country through extended-family migration, which is incompatible with national security.”
The theme was picked up by Trump Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders: “The president’s policy calls for an end to chain migration, which is what this individual came to the United States through. And if this policy had been in place, then that attacker would not have been allowed to come into the country.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions chimed in as well: “We have now seen two terrorist attacks in New York City in less than two months that were carried out by people who came here as a result of our failed immigration policies that do not serve the national interest.” Sessions was referring to Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, the driver of the pickup truck that plowed into pedestrians in the city in early November. He was also a green card chain immigrant, from Uzbekistan in Central Asia.
Every year, 50,000 green card F-4 visas are given away by lottery, and more than 10,000 of them are won by siblings of American citizens living in Bangladesh.
But Ullah has been in the U.S. since 2011! There’s no evidence to suggest that he was a terrorist at the time he entered the country, nor any evidence that he associated himself with a local mosque or those of similar offensive ideologies since. In fact neither the NYPD nor the FBI even knew he existed until Monday.
During interrogation, Ullah told the police that his attack was in retaliation for American interference abroad, especially over attacks on the Islamic State in Syria. He wanted, he said, to “avenge the deaths of Muslims around the world.”
If the green card F-4 visa lottery were curtailed or canceled altogether, what impact might that have on future terrorist attacks emanating from those lottery winners? What about the 11 to 20 million illegals already in the United States? Isn’t this a classic case of bolting the barn door after the horses have escaped?
The Fourth Amendment states “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” If, as Ullah’s family complains, their Fourth Amendment rights were violated, where does that put the rest of us? A single violation is often followed by another, and another, until the Fourth Amendment becomes a distant memory, lamented by those who have lost their freedoms because it no longer protects anyone.
A free society will always face that tension between security and liberty. The Islamic terrorist attack in the tunnel beneath Times Square on Monday reminds us of that tension and just how carefully one must tread to maintain the balance.
Washington Examiner: Failed New York subway attack reflects tireless counterterrorism by US
The Washington Times: New York terror attempt renews Trump calls against visa lottery, chain migration
The Wall Street Journal: Botched Suicide Bombing Jolts New York Rush Hour, Injures Four
The Wall Street Journal: Hero Officers Likely ‘Saved a Lot of People’